The sky is turning purple

We’re the last ones on the playground

My mother calls me, her voice is firm but gentle

Your mother is still ignoring you

This whole time you’ve been sitting alone

Kicking the wood chips under the swing

She hasn’t looked at you at all

She’s been talking to a machine this whole time

I wonder if she even remembers that you’re here

The other kids asked you to play, and you didn’t answer

You just looked away and stared at the ground

I wonder, if you stayed quiet and alone

Would your mother leave you here and forget you?

It looks to me like she already has

My mother calls me again, we need to go home

It’s getting too dark, she says

Is it always dark for you?

Did you forget the sun, like you’ve been forgotten?

I wonder if your life is bright and happy

Or if you have to scream just to be heard

I don’t know who you are

You could be a bully for all I know

You could hate people, you could hate the sound of laughter

You might hate it when other people smile

And you might try to make their smiles go away

You could be mean, but I wouldn’t know

I’ve never seen you before

But I can see that you’re upset

I know that you’re sad

So before my mother calls me again, before I have to leave

I walk up to you, silent just like you

You don’t even notice me until I’m standing right in front of you

You look at me and I don’t see any tears that want to fall

But I still know that you’re alone and sad

I wrap my arms around your shoulders and hug you tightly

Only for a moment, before I have to let go

I smile at you once and then turn around, running over to my mother

I look back and I see you watching me

Maybe you wish you could be happy to go to your mother

Maybe you wish you didn’t have to be sad

I hope that today, I made you happy

I hope that you’ll remember that you can still smile

Even when your own mother forgets you

And I hope that one day, you’ll show someone else the same kindness I showed you

I hope that I made a little difference in your life

You don’t have to know someone to know that they’re sad

And you don’t have to know someone to make them happy again

I hope I made you happy.


First of a pair of poems I wrote when I started experimenting with free verse poetry.

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